By half past four the sun’s rays are fleeting. Shafts of light cross the garden floor, low where leaves lie, setting the liquidambar’s colours on fire.
Tomorrow, at bedtime, we’ll set the clocks back by a precious hour and be ready to welcome winter.
The ritual of making a fire each evening makes up for the shortening days: shredding office paper (all those finished pieces of work, long since put to bed) and twisting it with our hands, before placing inside the stove’s chamber. A few pieces of kindling are laid to rest against the scrunched up twists, before topping with a log. We watch as the fire takes with just one match, then settle down to enjoy its comforting warmth and cheery glow.
There will be fire in the village this evening too, marking the end of the harvest and rekindling the magic within. And on Tuesday we’ll light our lantern, carefully carved, inspired by the countryside around the house.